Best Practices for Inclusive Recruitment

Trying to build a diverse workforce? Having trouble attracting the right candidates? The issue may lie in your recruitment processes.

For organisations to succeed in today’s rapidly changing environment, fostering diversity and inclusion is imperative. Research consistently shows that diverse teams are more innovative, productive, and better equipped to solve complex problems. Yet, achieving true diversity and inclusion within organisations requires more than just good intentions – it demands deliberate, inclusive recruitment practices.

Understanding Inclusive Recruitment

At its core, inclusive recruitment is about ensuring that every individual, regardless of their background or characteristics, has an equal opportunity to participate in the hiring process. It goes beyond simply increasing diversity numbers; it’s about creating an environment where all candidates feel valued, respected, and empowered to succeed.

Diversity and inclusion are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. Diversity is about representation – having a workforce that reflects the variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in society. Inclusion, on the other hand, is about creating a culture where every individual feels welcomed, respected, and supported.

Creating Inclusive Job Descriptions

No matter how well-intentioned you may be, we’re all subject to unconscious biases that affect our decision-making. The language we use in job descriptions can have a significant impact on who applies for a position as certain phrases and words may be biased and deter candidates from applying. For example, some words are subtly coded as masculine like ambitious, driven, and competitive, and some more feminine like warm, supportive, and compassionate. Simply removing them can increase your number of applications by 42%.

To create more inclusive job descriptions, start by using language that is neutral and welcoming. Avoid gendered or biased terms and focus on the essential skills and qualifications required for the role. Additionally, be mindful of the job requirements – are they truly necessary, or are they creating unnecessary barriers for candidates?

Broadening Candidate Sourcing

Traditional recruitment methods often rely on passive channels, such as job boards and referrals, which can limit the diversity of the candidate pool. To ensure equality for all candidates, it’s essential to broaden your sourcing channels.

This may include actively seeking out candidates from a variety of niche job boards, attending networking events targeted at specific demographics, or leveraging social media platforms to reach a wider audience. By casting a wider net, you increase the likelihood of finding top talent from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Implementing Bias-Free Screening Processes

Unconscious bias can creep into every stage of the recruitment process, from resume screening to interview evaluations. To minimise bias, consider implementing blind recruitment techniques, such as anonymized resumes or structured interviews.

Anonymizing resumes removes identifying information, such as name, gender, or age, to focus solely on the candidate’s qualifications and experience. Structured interviews involve asking all candidates the same set of questions in the same order, eliminating the possibility of bias in questioning or evaluation.

Cultivating Inclusive Interview Practices

Interviews play a critical role in the recruitment process, but they can also be breeding grounds for bias. Training interviewers to recognise and mitigate bias is essential for creating a fair and inclusive interview experience.

Consider using diverse interview panels to bring different perspectives to the evaluation process. Additionally, focus on asking inclusive interview questions that assess a candidate’s skills, experiences, and potential fit for the role, rather than making assumptions based on stereotypes or preconceptions.

Ensuring Accessibility in the Recruitment Process

Accessibility should be a priority at every stage of the recruitment process to ensure that all candidates, regardless of their abilities, can fully participate. This includes making job postings, application forms, and interview processes accessible to candidates with disabilities.

Provide alternative formats for job postings, such as plain text versions for screen readers, and ensure that online application forms are compatible with assistive technologies. During interviews, be prepared to make reasonable accommodations, such as providing sign language interpreters or offering flexible scheduling options.

Providing Feedback and Closure

Regardless of the outcome, it’s essential to provide timely and constructive feedback to candidates. Feedback not only helps candidates understand areas for improvement but also reinforces their value and worth as individuals.

When delivering feedback, focus on specific examples and observations rather than generalisations. Be respectful and empathetic, recognising the effort and time that candidates have invested in the process. By providing closure and feedback, you not only uphold the integrity of the recruitment process but also demonstrate your commitment to fostering positive candidate experiences.


Inclusive recruitment is not about token gestures – it’s a fundamental principle that drives organisational success and innovation while improving societal efforts in fostering inclusivity. By embracing inclusive hiring practices, organisations will benefit from attracting top talent from diverse backgrounds, foster creativity and collaboration, and ultimately, build stronger, more resilient teams. As recruiters, it’s our responsibility to champion diversity and inclusion at every stage of the recruitment process to create workplaces where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to thrive.

Does yor organisation require assistance in creating inclusive recruitment practices? Reach out to our team to discuss your HR requirements.